This spring, Serena Williams’ tennis career was at a crossroads. She hadn’t competed since June 2021, when she withdrew with an injury in a first-round match at Wimbledon. But now she felt the court calling.

She knew who to turn to for advice: Tiger Woods.

“I said, ‘I don’t know what to do: I think I’m over it, but maybe I’m not over it,’” Williams wrote in a first-person essay for Vogue last month.

It’s a surreal conversation to imagine: Woods and Williams, talking shop. But it makes all the sense in the world. Who could relate better to the struggle of the other? Their stories are so similar: Prodigies from southern California who worked their way from humble beginnings into the walled-off world of country club sports. Woods grew up on the munis of L.A. County and Orange County. Williams on the city courts of Compton. Their professional careers bloomed in parallel; Williams turned pro in 1995 and Woods followed in 1996. By the turn of the millennium each was a major championship winner and the face of their respective sport.

They would have known each other then. Both were on the brink of mega-paydays from Nike, after all, and would have run in the same circles of sporting celebrity. Perhaps they can relate even more so now, as they fight parallel battles against age and torque and the passage of time.

Tiger woods Serena Williams

tiger Woods knows his way around a comeback, and he told Williams something that stuck with her.

“He said, ‘Serena, what if you just gave it two weeks? You don’t have to commit to anything. You just go out on the court every day for two weeks and give it your all and see what happens.’”

She waited another month before following his advice, but when she did, she was pleasantly surprised at just how good she felt.

“It felt magical to pick up a racket again,” she wrote.

It was fitting that Woods was there on Wednesday night as America took in Williams’ second-round match at the U.S. Open, where she faced off as an underdog against World No. 2 Anett Kontaveit. And although he was far from the only celebrity in attendance — think Anna Wintour, Zendaya, Spike Lee, Seal, Bella and Gigi Hadid — his presence was distinctly different. Different because of their career parallels (Williams won her first U.S. Open in 1999; Woods got his in 2000, the rest was history) and different because he was so obviously invested in the result.

How cool was it to see Woods going full-throttle in the stands? He and his girlfriend Erica Herman sat in Williams’ box next to Serena’s sister Venus, and as television cameras cut their way, without fail, Woods looked locked into every single shot. No cocktail sipping or phone checking. He was in the moment. He was fully invested. He flipped his Stanford hat backwards at a certain point, a sure sign that it was game time. And over and over he leapt to his feet after a pivotal point, unleashing the sort of fist pumps we associate with made putts in majors of his own.

There’s something special about seeing Woods so invested as a fan because so many fans are so invested in Woods. It’s validating: if he’s fully invested in someone else’s competition, sports fans have permission to fully invest in his. Woods has long admired sporting greatness, and he loves the U.S. Open in particular. We saw him and his son Charlie sporting matching fist pumps in 2019 when they watched Williams and Rafa Nadal on back-to-back nights. He traded texts with Roger Federer when the two were on parallel major tracks. He revered Kobe Bryant. And he continues to speak reverentially of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, the titans that built the platform for his own greatness. In the age of LIV vs. the PGA Tour, of conference realignment, of sporting stakeholders wholly focused on profit maximization, Woods’ enthusiastic presence at Williams’ match reaffirmed something: This all matters.

As for his support? That mattered to Williams, too. She eked out the first set in a tiebreak but dropped the second set 6-2, setting the stage for a pivotal third set. She wound back the clock and pummeled her way to a 6-2 victory, making it official: the comeback was still on.

We don’t know when we’ll see Williams play next. We don’t even know that we will — not really. She has deliberately avoided the word “retirement.” She has favored “evolution” instead. There’s some overlap between her approach and that of Woods, who has acknowledged he’ll try to play just a limited schedule going forward. Age makes realists of us all.

After her inspired victory, Woods walked with Williams down the tunnel, slinging his arm over her shoulder. She called out his presence in her post-match media availability.

“He’s one of the reasons I’m here, one of the main reasons I’m still playing,” she told reporters. “We talked a lot. He was really trying to get me motivated. There are a few people, but we were like: ‘OK, we can do this together, you know?’”

There was a two-word phrase that stuck out from that Williams Vogue essay. “He’s Tiger,” she wrote.

There’s so much wrapped up in that. Greatness, work ethic, X Factor. It conjures a library of highlights. It implies an ethos. It’s self-explanatory. He’s Tiger. Game recognize game.

After Williams finished off her win, she was interviewed on court. Had she surprised herself? After all, she had come in ranked outside the top 400 in the world and she’d beaten the World No. 2. She shot the interviewer a look that said it all. Surprised? Hardly.

She added an explanation of her own. We knew what it meant.

“I’m Serena.”

Since her historic US Open title win, Emma Raducanu has become one of the world’s most recognised tennis players.

Despite being just 19 years old, she is already a household name and brands have been falling over themselves to work with her.

Raducanu’s popularity and high marketability comes from the hard graft she put in during her flawless run in New York last year.

She had been on the WTA Tour for just three months before she stunned the world at the 2021 US Open.

Emma Raducanu became the first qualifier in history to win a Grand Slam title and she achieved this feat without dropping a single set.

As a result of her success, the teenage sensation has skyrocketed through the world rankings, rising from 366th prior to her WTA Tour debut, to her current position in 10th.

However, Raducanu’s passion to succeed on the court is not something that has always been instilled in her. In fact, her earliest memories of playing tennis were far from positive.

“When I was five or six, I was pretty much the only girl in most of the classes,” she told the Evening Standard. “I remember clinging on to the fence, hiding behind my mum’s skirt.

“I didn’t want anything to do with it because I was shy. I’d literally cry on the court during a match.”

As a child, Raducanu participated in a number of sports and hobbies, including motocross and ballet. She laughed about how she was “doing the two ends of the spectrum at eight.”

But tennis turned out to be her sport of choice, despite being totally uninterested when she first started out.

A rise into the spotlight

Fortunately for Raducanu and indeed, the tennis world, she stuck it out and can confidently say she experienced one of the sport’s most iconic moments.

She started to turn heads when she made her Grand Slam debut at Wimbledon, where she reached the fourth round and became the youngest British woman of the Open Era to reach the last 16.

However, she was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to breathing difficulties, cutting short an impressive run on her home soil.

Emma Raducanu

Although she was hit with disappointment at Wimbledon, she more than made up for the early exit when she powered through the US Open to win her first ever major title.

Emma Raducanu has struggled since Flushing Meadows but like she has stressed in the past, she is still just 19 years old and has her entire tennis career ahead of her.

A couple of weeks after experiencing the defeat in the 2020 Roland Garros final against Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic appeared at the ATP 500 in Vienna. Novak traveled to the Austrian capital for the first time since 2007, taking on Filip Krajinovic in the opening round.

Novak and Filip have been training together for years, and the younger player knew how to take advantage of it and challenge the best player in the world. Krajinovic took a 5-3 lead in the first set and had a set point at 6-5 in the tie break before Djokovic prevailed 7-6 6-3 in just under two hours.

Praising his compatriot, Djokovic admitted that Krajinovic was the better player in the first set, wasting that set point and missing an easy smash at 6-6. It was a high level clash with more winners than unforced errors by both.

Djokovic lost serve twice and grabbed four breaks from 11 chances, overcoming that deficit and not looking back in the second set. The world number 1 worked hard and fended off two break chances with his winners, so that his name appeared on the scoreboard.

Novak held the lead with an ace down the T-line in game three and secured the first break with a volley winner at the net a few minutes later for 3-1. Filip rallied with a break at 15 in game five to pick up momentum and produced another return game at 3-3 with a backhand winner down the line.

Both players comfortably held games 11 and 12 to reach the tie break. Filip grabbed a set point with a game winner at 5-5 and looked poised to carve out the lead. Novak saved it and scored three straight points to close the break at 7-6 when Krajinovic hit a forehand error in the 71st minute.

Novak Djokovic

Robson talks about Djokovic

“I think Novak Djokovic has got a huge amount of fans,” Robson told Tennis365 at a Play Your Way To Wimbledon event. “Every time I commentate on one of his matches, my Twitter blows up because there are so many people who are die hard fans of his.

They are committed. I do feel like he has a lot of fans. Compared to Nadal and Federer, they might not be as vocal in stadiums, but people just know them better from years and years of watching them. I feel Djokovic gets a lot of credit. He is probably going to end up as the greatest of all-time, so he deserves a lot more respect”.

Wimbledon’s Centre Court celebrated its 100-year birthday with a ceremony littered with some of tennis’ greats including Rod Laver, Billie Jean King, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to name four.

However, a seven-time champion was a notable absence and the reason behind her no-show is puzzling.

Despite competing in this year’s edition of the tournament and being bundled out in the first round by world No. 611 Harmony Tan, Serena Williams was nowhere to be found.


According to The Telegraph, Williams gave the ceremony a miss due to Wimbledon officials not granting her request for five courtesy cars to be used during the tournament.

Most players are given one courtesy car, with some of the higher-ranked players competing even given two cars.

Serena Williams

However, the report claims Williams wanted five cars: for herself, her husband, her sister, her mother and her coach.

A Wimbledon source told The Telegraph that Williams was disappointed when her request to have five vehicles beyond the regular 24-hour window after a player has been knocked out was denied.

“She wanted to use the cars for the whole two weeks because that’s what happens at the other grand slams,” the source said.

“She was told that was not possible because they had to be used by the other players. She was not happy.

“Maybe that’s why she refused to take part in the centenary parade.”

Journalists who quizzed tournament officials why Williams was absent from the Centre Court ceremony were informed she’d “gone home” with many assuming that meant a return back to the United States.

But pictures surfaced of her and her husband at a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park before the 23-time grand slam champion popped up at a restaurant in Mayfair and the premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder at Leicester Square.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal are the winningest tennis players ever with 62 total Grand Slams, but how many times has each won Wimbledon?

In a few years time, if it hasn’t dawned on you already, you will look back at the last couple decades and realize just how lucky we were. It’s rare to see greatness in the flesh, and each generation has their candidate for the best of all-time in a particular. While there may be a debate as to who is best, there is no question the tennis has been living its golden age for the last two decades.

It’s never happened and will never happen again

In many sports it’s up for debate as parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren tussle about is the greatest of all time. Most of the time this debate is not quantifiable because you’re comparing two athletes who never competed against each other.

Think of Messi and Maradona. Think of Jordan and James. Think of Brady and Montana. These generational talents that mark a before and after in their sports’ history enrapture the world for the length of their careers until they hang it up and make way for the next wave of talent to try to fill their shoes.

If we are lucky some of these greats overlap with one and other, but never does it happen that three of the best all-time are playing at their peak for over a decade.

Sixty-two grand slams between Rafa, Roger and Nole

You can say Ronaldo and Messi’s strangle hold on the soccer world is coming to and end after decades of dominance. Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan played against each other albeit Jordan was a shadow of what he was by the time Kobe became Kobe. Kobe and LeBron overlapped as well, but by the time LeBron started winning championships, Kobe’s reign over the NBA was over.

Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic have had a triumvirate on the tennis world since Novak, who is the youngest of the three, won his first Grand Slam in the 2008 Australian Open.

They are the greatest of all time. And they have shared the stage for the last decade and a half. Between them they have a total of 62 Grand Slams, with Rafa Nadal leading with a record 22. Djoker and Federer each have 20, and while it seems like Roger’s days of winning Slams are over, Djokovic isn’t just favorite to win this year’s Wimbledon but favorite to end his career with the most Grand Slams in the history of the sport.

Roger Federer is not around for this year’s Wimbledon, a Grand Slam tournament he won more than any other in his career. Rafa Nadal is still in the running after defeating Botic Van de Zandschulp to secure his spot in the quarters. Djokovic is the defending champion at the All-England Club, and is the clear cut favorite to take the title at Wimbledon. Each of these greats knows what it is like to win titles on the famous grass courts, but who has the most Wimbledon titles?

Roger Federer: 8

Federer won his first Grand Slam ever at the All England Club in 2003 when he defeated Mark Phillippoussos, and that started a long love affair between he and the classy fans at Wimbledon. He would go on to win in seven more times including five in a row from 2003-2007 beating Rafa Nadal in two of those finals. His last title at Wimbledon came 2017 when he defeated Maric Čilic. With the win over Čilic Federer surpassed Pete Sampras and and Wiliam Reneshaw to become the king of Wimbledon. His record eight titles on grass is coming under threat as Djokovic inches closer as each year passes.


Novak Djokovic: 6

Nole’s first taste of victory at Wimbledon came in a fabulous season in which he announced there was a new powerhouse in Men’s tennis. In 2011, Djoker won his second Grand Slam title at the Aussie Open, and while his hard court presence was already noted around the tour, he would go on two win two of the next three Grand Slams that year. He missed out on the French, but won his first Wimbledon championship against Rafa Nadal and then US Open later that season. He would go on to win five more, including back-to-back bids in 2014 and 2015, beating Federer in both finals. He would do it again in 2018 and 2019 first defeating Kevin Anderson and then Federer again. He is now looking to go back-to-back for a third time at Wimbledon after beating Matteo Berrittini last year. At the moment it looks like the only man who might be able to stop him from a third back-to-back bid is Rafa Nadal.


Rafa Nadal: 2

We all know Rafa is the King of Clay. He has won 14 Grand Slams at Roland Garros which is better than any other tennis player on any other surface. While his dominance is unmatched and unquestioned on the red courts in Paris, the grass courts of Wimbledon have not treated him as kindly. He won his first title at the All England Club back in 2008 when he and Roger Federer went to a tie break in a five set thriller. Nadal would win his second and last Wimbledon two years later when he defeated Thomas Berdych in straight sets.


Novak Djokovic definitely raised his game after a discreet performance in his debut on the pitch of the All England Club. The Serbian champion played an excellent match and defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-1, 6-4, 6-2. The one from Belgrade only conceded one break point -in the last game of the match- and always worried his rival on the return, finding great depth with both the forehand and the backhand.

Djokovic will face his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, who has expelled Alejandro Tabilo from the tournament, in the third round. “The quality of tennis that I have expressed today has been really high. Much better than the level expressed in the first round match.

I knew I had to start the game well today because they are a dangerous opponent. He has a great serve and a great forehand. I didn’t want to give him too much time. I have answered well. My performance was really satisfying. Did I increase the intensity because I was playing against an Australian? My intensity is always the same in every match.

I tried to follow my tactics and do what I had to do to win. I didn’t have any extra motivation or increased desire to win because I was playing against an Australian tennis player. Thanasi is a good guy and we have a very good relationship.

On the pitch, of course, we always want to win. Today there was a lot of respect and that is the most important thing. I don’t have any hard feelings towards the Australians “Djokovic also talked about the work he does during the change of sides.

“For each player it is different.”

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is aiming for his 21st Major win

Novak Djokovic is aiming for his 21st Major win at Wimbledon, and his third SW19 title in a row. “Of course, it is [more than just numbers and records].

You don’t think about numbers when you start playing tennis. I mean, 99% of children when they grab a tennis racquet, they have dreams, they have love and passion for the game. That’s the most important thing,” Novak Djokovic said.

“That’s the driving force whenever the going gets tough, whenever you’re down yourself or things are not as smooth and easy as you would like them to be, going back to that inner child you know and remembering why you start playing this sport.

Of course, anything else that you manage to achieve and live your dreams is a bonus, so I’m really blessed to be here now,” he added.

WANT to play tennis like a professional at Wimbledon? Tennis icon Serena Williams’ former coach provided some advice on how people can up their game and stay fit this season.

With the sun shining and Wimbledon underway, plenty of people are looking to get their game on. But where to start? Professional tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who is an ambassador for innovative racquet sports organisation Slinger and tennis icon Serena Williams’ former coach, has suggested key ways people can improve technical aspects and bring out their inner champion.

They say practice makes perfect and Patrick revealed it definitely applies when it comes to tennis.

He explained: “Repetition is the mother of all skills, you have heard about the 10,000 hours theory.

“We know now that you can accomplish mastery without having to put in that much work, as long as you make sure every hour counts.”

He continued to say that its about “quality over quantity”.

“One focused hour is worth about three unfocused ones,” he said.

“Try to always show up with a sense of purpose, this is important when you step on a court.

“Have a clear goal before each training or match and give your best to accomplish it.”

Despite all this, Patrick reassured people “not be too hard” on themselves.

“One of the appealing things about tennis for many is the fact it is not easy at all,” he said.

“Sometimes you love it fully, but it does not love you back.

“The key is not beat yourself up. Stubborn perfectionism is the quickest road to frustration.

“The brain and the body work best when they are relaxed.”

The tennis coach suggested simple tips to implement into practice that can really up a person’s game.

“This little trick can help you transfer your weight as well as hit cleaner shots – breathe out at the moment of contact,” he advised.

“This is a very good cue that shows that you are ‘on time’ and ready to hit the ball in a relaxed way, which is key to allow your body weight to go through the ball.”

He also explained that “breathing properly means you will not get as tired”.

Serena williams

And practice doesn’t just come on the court.

If you want to improve your game in the gym there are certain muscle groups people should work on to build strength.

“Most players do not realise that their strokes start from the ground up, Patrick revealed.

“It is the loss of balance during the hitting phase that contributes mostly to the loss of control of the racket head and therefore loss of control of the ball.

“Besides drills, another key initiative to improve you base is to strengthen your legs and core, with exercises such as single leg bridges, forward/backward/side lunges, and lateral bounds.”

ROGER FEDERER is a big-name absentee from this summer’s Wimbledon championships.

Casual tennis fans may be left disappointed this week when they tune in to Wimbledon only to find that arguably the most popular player of all-time, Roger Federer, is nowhere to be seen. While Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will look to add another title in their quest to become the GOAT in the men’s game, Federer will have to settle for watching on the sidelines.

That is because, sadly, the Swiss legend has been plagued with injury issues of late, and has not managed a competitive game since his quarter-final exit at last year’s Wimbledon to Hubert Hurkacz.

Shortly after that match, Federer underwent surgery on his troublesome knee, and was forced to withdraw from major tournaments such as last year’s US Open and this year’s Australian Open.

There were even rumours that the 40-year-old may have to call it a day in the most anti-climactic fashion. But speaking recently, Federer offered hope that he could soon return as he gave an update on his recovery.

Roger Federer

Speaking to Swiss broadcaster SRF earlier this month, he said he “plays from time to time” with his children, but admitted things are “moving slowly”. “I had surgery at the end of August and people ask me ‘So, how does it look?'” he added. “And each time I have to answer that it will take a little more time.

“I just have to stay patient, I’m making constant progress.” The current plan is for Federer to return to play in the Laver Cup in September before a potential emotional return at his hometown tournament of Basel in October.

And if that all goes to plan, there is hope he could make a more permanent return in the 2023 season, and perhaps even enjoy at least one last hurrah at Wimbledon – the tournament he has won more than any other man with eight titles.

“Yes, definitely,” Federer told Tages-Anzeiger when asked if he wanted to return to the ATP tour in 2023. “How and where, I don’t know yet. But that would be the idea.

“I haven’t planned more than the Laver Cup and Basel yet. After Basel, the season is over anyway. It’s important for me to get fit again so that I can train fully. Once I’ve done that, I can choose how many tournaments I play and where.

“The Laver Cup is a good start, I don’t have to play five matches in six days. I will have be able to do that in Basel. But I’m hopeful, I’ve come a long way. I’m not far away…”

JOHN MCENROE has given his view on Rafael Nadal.

Tennis pundit John McEnroe has claimed that some of Rafael Nadal’s actions may be “tiring” to his rivals after the 22-time Grand Slam champion admitted that he could not feel his foot during his French Open victory. Nadal faces Francisco Cerundolo in his opening Wimbledon match as the Spaniard aims to complete the first Calendar Slam since Rod Laver in 1969, following wins at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros this year.

Rafael Nadal is two Slams ahead of Novak Djokovic in the all-time standings, something which BBC presenter Sue Barker asked McEnroe would be playing on their minds. “Well they are totally opposite approaches,” the American pundit replied. “Djokovic talks openly about wanting to have the most and Nadal acts like nothing matters except going out and giving an effort every point and every match.

“It seems to have worked pretty well for both of them if you go by the history and how many Grand Slams they have won, so whatever makes you happy and whatever brings out the best in you is probably what you should do. Sometimes I suppose it could get tiring to opponents to hear Rafa say ‘I didn’t feel my foot, I couldn’t even feel it!’

Rafael Nadal

“You looked pretty good to me at the French and now all of a sudden he did some other procedure that I don’t even know what it’s called. Whatever it was and whatever it is he seems to feel pretty good and doesn’t have any pain and it’s unbelievable, and also I am glad they are on different sides.”

After defeating Casper Ruud in the French Open final, Nadal said: “I have no feelings in my foot, because my doctor was able to put anaesthetic injections on the nerves. That takes out the feeling on my foot.”

Being on different sides of the draw means that Nadal and Djokovic could face each other in the final, but if Andy Murray is to reach the final and attempt to win at Wimbledon for the third time he will have to overcome Djokovic before he reaches the final.

“I am really happy for Andy,” McEnroe added. “I don’t know how he could possibly do it. He has got a metal hip and you think he was number one six years ago and what has happened since and the battles he has had, 99 out of 100 guys would have quit I think.

“But he loves it, and he loves the competition of it and he deserves it. I think the last six months watching him, even though he last lost a bunch of these matches, he looked better, he looked like ‘Oh man, sort of close to Murray when he can move’.

“If he can move he is one of the top five players in the world, certainly on grass, top ten at worst. I think he is in Novak’s 16 which isn’t the greatest thing but to me he is one of the top eight guys, but he is not in the best part of the draw.”

RAFAEL NADAL and Serena Williams have won nine Wimbledon titles between them.

Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams shared a sweet moment outside the Wimbledon practice courts on Monday afternoon as both players prepared for the start of their latest SW19 campaigns. The blockbuster stars have won a combined nine titles at the All England Club throughout their illustrious careers at the top of the game.

Williams, who has been handed a wildcard for this year’s Wimbledon, had been practising from 12pm to 1pm as she warmed up for Tuesday’s first-round clash against French star Harmony Tan. Nadal, meanwhile, booked a later slot on the practice court as he looked to get some time on the grass ahead of his first-round match against Argentine ace Francisco Cerundolo, which is also scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

And as the duo crossed paths on the steps outside the practice courts they embraced. “How are you, good to see you” Nadal said to Williams as he reached out to hold the American’s arm. “Hey, how are you, congratulations on everything” came Williams’ reply as they both scuttled off in opposite directions.

Nadal, 36, has been in imperious form this year, despite being plagued with a chronic foot problem. In January, he won the Australian Open title to lift his 21st Grand Slam trophy and move clear of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer at the top of the all-time men’s leaderboard. And the Spaniard got his hands on an incredible 22nd major earlier this month as he won the French Open.

Serena Williams

Serena Williams, meanwhile, has spent the last 12 months away from the Tour after being forced to retire from her first-round match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich at last year’s Wimbledon after she slipped and suffered a serious leg injury.

The American returned to the court in the doubles at Eastbourne last week, where she reached the semi-finals before again being forced to pull out after her partner Ons Jabeur suffered a knee injury. But Williams is now set for her first competitive singles match in a year after being handed a wildcard to play at Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal won his first Wimbledon title in 2008 as he came out on top of an epic five-set battle against Roger Federer. He went on to lift the trophy once again in 2010 after dispatching Tomas Berdych in the showpiece event.

RAFAEL NADAL Serena Williams

Serena Williams’ first triumph at SW19 came in 2002 as she overcame her sister Venus in the final. And the 40-year-old has won the tournament a further six times, with her most recent success coming in 2016 as she defeated Angelique Kerber in the deciding match.